Open Tug Towing event Sun 31st July 2022
Report, scores & photos by Russ Chilcott
Results > Tug Towing 2022 results

It was a very overcast with light drizzle for the first hour which I think greatly affected the turnout but we did still get 4 teams entering the tug towing, many of them were using borrowed tug boats and doing this the very first time. A course was laid out with 6 obstacles, some slightly easier than others but any could be a bit very tricky when a sudden gust of wind picked up. Each of the 4 teams did the course once in each direction.

Chris Locke teamed up with his old towing partner Peggy Franks who had won south west district events many, many years ago. Their old tug team work was soon evident as they won the first scoring just 14 penalty points. Peggy had to leave before the second round was run so Howard Ashenden stepped in to take over operating the stern tug. He had never done it before but under Chris’s guidance they did very well again scoring 14pts. This turned out to be just enough to win the event overall with a total score of 28.

Old team mates Maurice Edwards and Tony Brooks from the Shepton Mallet Drifters MBC using their own tug boats scored 19 on their first run and then found their grove in their second run scoring just 10. This put them into 2nd place on a score of 29 points.

I teamed up with Richard Tunstall of the Woodspring MSC club. Richard has never done tug towing before but he did very well especially as he was operating the lead tug. We scored 15 and then 18 penalty points for the two runs, not too bad at all. Our 33pt score put us into 3rd place.

The final pairing was Paul Jones (Woodspring MSC) and Mike Boobyer (Sedgemoor). Neither had ever done tug towing before, were using someone else’s boats/transmitters and had never met each other – so this was always going to be very challenging! Never-the-less they didn’t embarrass themselves scoring 27 on their first run and then just 18 points on their second go. Very impressive!

Overall, the event went quite well despite the early drizzle. I think everyone enjoyed themselves and for some I think an interesting experience operating tugs as a team and towing a 6ft long tanker. A big thank you to everyone for helping out with setup and packing away.

Hopefully we will do it again next year, maybe not right in the middle of the holiday season and in slightly better weather!


Open Tug Towing event – Sunday 16th June 2019
Full results > Tug Towing 2019 results

Following the success of last year’s event we held another one-off Open Tug Towing competition but this year the weather not on our side! Very high winds coming straight into the corner of the lake we were using made just setting the obstacle course out onto the lake pretty tricky.
The skippers found steering the course with their tug boats while towing a 6ft long tanker pretty tricky as well! We were joined by members from Woodspring and Shepton Mallet MBC, 8 in total making up 4 teams who braved the conditions which included the odd light rain shower!

Last year’s winners Tony and Maurice from the Shepton Mallet club went first but found the choppy waters very difficult and scored 48 penalty points in their first run and then failed to finish their second run as one tug started to fill with water! The maximum penalty for the remaining obstacles brought their score up to a massive 136 points altogether. Local members Chris and Arley did much better scoring 32 on their first run and improved to score 19 on the second run, giving them 49 points in total. Also from Sedgemoor MBC Russ was first joined by fellow club member Mike for his first run and then Cliff from the Woodspring club for his second run at the course. They scored 32 and then as best of the day 16 giving them a total of 48 points. Geoff who is new to the Sedgemoor club joined Cliff to make up a 4th team. Both had never done tug towing before and with some helpful directions from Chris they somehow managed to score 25 and then 23 points. Their combined total of 48 meant they tied for first place but since it was their first ever attempt at tug towing they were rightly awarded the win and the presented a box of chocolates each for their efforts.

Somehow despite the pretty awful weather (it was mid-June!) everyone seemed to enjoy the event. Lucky Chris’s quick action in the rescue boat saved Maurice’s tug from sinking – hopefully it all dries out ok and we see it and him again next year.

Fingers crossed the weather is much more like summer next time!